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Cisco Coaching Bootcamps: Get the Scoop from Topic Matter Specialists

Cisco Coaching Bootcamps have been on the scene for a pair years now. One of many issues that makes them so well-liked is their depth and real-world software. We sat down with Topic Matter Specialists (SMEs) John Capobianco, Bootcamp Developer Advocate, Joe Rinehart, Engineering Chief, and Palmer Pattern, Software program Engineering Technical Chief, to seek out out what makes Cisco Coaching Bootcamps so particular. 

Plus, we obtained a sneak peek at what they’ll cowl within the upcoming Cisco Coaching Bootcamp webinar on December 13, 2023, at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. 

Why are Cisco Coaching Bootcamps so well-liked? 

John: I feel it’s the way in which they align with market traits. Enterprises around the globe are in search of methods to undertake community automation and get the utmost worth out of their Cisco investments. A Cisco Coaching Bootcamp gives a direct path towards cultural adjustments, serving to organizations undertake automation and programmability. 

Joe: In addition they deal with vital enterprise and technical wants like automation and complicated product competence. The educating methodology is well-suited to speedy studying and growing abilities that engineers can apply now, not solely sooner or later. Having two studying occasions shut collectively (the Teacher-led Coaching [ILT] lessons and the deep dive labs) amplifies the educational at each degree. It’s just like the expression, ‘one-two punch.’

Palmer: I feel individuals like our bootcamps as a result of they reply the query, “Now what?” In the present day’s aggressive enterprise setting requires agile networks that may adapt to mission goals with out impacting stakeholders. As our clients deploy fashionable infrastructure, they discover that the issue isn’t that the know-how is simply too complicated however that it’s totally different from what we’ve all labored with for therefore many a long time.  

We’ve heard:  

  • “Now we have deployed Software program-Outlined Entry…” 
  • “We’re working ACI however haven’t moved to an application-centric mannequin…” 
  • “Our staff must embrace NetDevOps rules and study automation…” 

Now what? 

Cisco Coaching Bootcamps take away complexity and concentrate on what’s necessary. Whether or not it’s an Operations and Troubleshooting Bootcamp for Software program-Outlined Campus and Information Heart Options, or an Automation Bootcamp, our clients go away with the arrogance they should rework community operations and contribute to their staff’s success. 

You guys are within the excellent place to know what clients want. What are you listening to from the entrance strains? What automation wants do clients imagine these Coaching Bootcamps would possibly remedy? 

Joe: Clients want to unravel issues now, which is why the hands-on element of the expertise is so important. The Bootcamps not solely encourage college students to study ideas and configuration, however in addition they present the crucial for college students to use them instantly of their environments. 

Palmer: Whereas clients are wanting to automate, they face widespread challenges, similar to guaranteeing their groups can converse a typical language, which automation know-how they need to select, and maybe most significantly, what they will truly do with automation. A Cisco Coaching Bootcamp addresses these challenges with a novel educating format. The 5-day coaching covers a broad vary of prerequisite data to make sure college students achieve a typical skillset. The actual-world use instances and deep-dive labs present what clients can do with community automation. These labs are designed to progress from the fundamentals, similar to studying Git, to well-liked instruments, together with REST API Purchasers and Python. Lastly, most studying tracks culminate with a CI/CD pipeline. After the Bootcamp, clients preserve entry to code they will instantly use after they return to the workplace. The general expertise requires focus and teamwork, however the buyer response has been overwhelmingly constructive. 

John: A few of our former college students keep in contact with us for over a yr after their Automation Coaching Bootcamp! The size and complexity of the fashionable community can not be operated manually. Automation isn’t just about velocity and transferring quick; it’s about safety, repeatability, testing and validation, and growing CI/CD pipelines as full options. In the end, most clients are in search of a spot to start out with confidence. Cisco Coaching Bootcamps present them these preliminary stepping stones towards success. 

What are the weather of a Bootcamp that make it so intense? 

John: The labs! Within the 4-day, deep-dive lab portion, 80 p.c of the category is lab work primarily based on actual conditions and situations. College students truly observe what they’ve realized in the course of the 5-day ILT with precise gear and actual issues to unravel. There are a number of ‘spice ranges’ (problem ranges) to problem even probably the most superior pupil. As an illustration, they study issues like version and supply management with Git and Ansible playbooks and the way to automate options with Ansible, Python and Cisco pyATS, and CI/CD pipelines. 

Joe: The Deep Dive Labs (DDLs) are all about utilizing the instruments, writing code, and making issues occur. The labs are action-oriented, and the ratio of lecture versus lab within the DDL is about 20 p.c lecture, leaving 80 p.c for labs. 

Palmer: I feel the depth lies in the quantity of content material we cowl in such a brief time period. Coupled with the labs, which get progressively tougher, it’s loads to study—particularly for college students who’re comparatively new to the know-how observe they’ve chosen. The excellent news is that they have a devoted staff of instructors to assist their studying expertise. In flip, we’ve seen our lessons typically embrace a staff mindset, serving to one another succeed. Sure, the expertise is intense, however it’s not not possible! On the finish of the deep-dive lab week, college students are exhausted however impressed to proceed their journey. 

Between the 2 kinds of Cisco Coaching Bootcamps, automation and product (operations and troubleshooting), what are you discovering hottest and helpful?  

John: Each tracks are very talked-about and deal with totally different wants. Some clients discover the Ops and Troubleshooting Bootcamps extra sensible for his or her present day-to-day wants, whereas others are forward-looking, attempting to remodel these operations into absolutely automated options.  

Joe: Every has their area of interest, with automation and product Bootcamps typically working across the identical variety of instances. Whereas we launched the DevNet Automation Bootcamps first, the Operations & Troubleshooting tracks got here alongside later and stay wildly well-liked. 

Palmer: It relies upon. Some clients have a devoted staff managing infrastructure, whereas one other focuses on automation. Some clients are simply deploying a know-how similar to Software program-Outlined Entry. In the meantime, others have realized that automation is right here to remain, so they should upskill. 

The Bootcamps additionally complement one another and supply a path for our clients to evolve as their necessities change. For instance, a buyer new to ACI would profit from the Operations and Troubleshooting Bootcamp. Then, they will increase their data by taking the Cisco DevNet Automation for ACI after they transfer to a NetDevOps mannequin. 

May you inform us extra in regards to the new Cisco Coaching Bootcamp for Enterprise Networking (EN)?  

John: I’m actually enthusiastic about this bootcamp! Whereas we do have an SDA Bootcamp for these with Catalyst Heart and a controller-based method, the EN Bootcamp will allow these clients with out SDN to completely embrace automation and programmability. We discover applied sciences like Ansible and Cisco pyATS, and construct towards a full CI/CD pipeline resolution that college students construct over the course of the DDL. And did I point out the lab is IPv6-based round OSPFv3?!  

Palmer: The Cisco DevNet Automation Bootcamp for Enterprise Networking, or as we name it, ‘EN-A,’ is within the remaining levels of testing. It’s primarily based on Cisco IOS XE software program, which is current in switches, routers, and wi-fi units and is the spine of our clients’ enterprise networks. 

After the 5-day instructor-led coaching, college students start the Deep-Dive Lab (DDL) with a topology consisting of Cisco Catalyst 8000V Edge units, that are solely configured with administration interface connectivity. After being launched to NetDevOps and Git, college students will use quite a lot of fashionable strategies to incrementally configure the simulated department topology. They achieve hands-on expertise with test-driven automation, Ansible, Python, Cisco’s pyATS automation framework, REST API shoppers, YANG fashions, model-driven programmability, streaming telemetry, and CI/CD pipelines. On the finish of the Bootcamp, the simulated department shall be absolutely configured and IPv6-enabled, with OSPFv3 and BGP within the combine for added pleasure. We will’t wait to share the expertise! 

What’s the preferred Coaching Bootcamp thus far? Why? 

Joe: Cisco ACI has emerged as probably the most well-liked matter areas. First, the automation bootcamp, adopted by the operations and troubleshooting bootcamp. Naturally, there are fluctuations about which observe is the preferred, however these two are almost at all times on the high. 

John: Individuals are drawn to ACI and software-defined networking on the whole, primarily for simplicity, scale, and automation capabilities. ACI was constructed from the bottom up with APIs and programmability in thoughts, however additionally it is a departure from traditional enterprise networking. There’s a little bit of a studying curve as issues are carried out in a different way. 

What’s the benefit of Coaching Bootcamps for people? 

John: I feel it’s the abilities they’ll purchase with real-world examples and the brand new appreciation for a way accessible and simple it’s to get began with community automation. It’s additionally the Cisco Persevering with Training (CE) credit they’ll obtain upon profitable completion. 

Joe: Many purchasers don’t have 12 engineers devoted to the applied sciences coated in Cisco bootcamps. The Coaching Bootcamps for people provides the flexibleness of accommodating smaller numbers of scholars. As well as, we regularly hear that having your complete staff out for coaching can affect enterprise productiveness, so sending the staff in waves can mitigate that difficulty. 

And the way is a person Bootcamp totally different from the Cisco Coaching Bootcamps for groups? 

John: The staff Bootcamps (aka closed enrollments) provide a personal setting for staff members from organizations to take the Bootcamp collectively. One of many pure aspect advantages of those enrollments is the staff constructing that goes on over the course of the week. Teammates from organizations turn out to be nearer as they study these new abilities and applied sciences. They study, battle, fail, and succeed collectively.

Particular person Cisco Coaching Bootcamps have their very own appeal, as a variety of people come collectively to realize the identical targets. Folks from around the globe study collectively and make pals. It’s fairly exceptional. 

Joe: Bootcamps for Groups are structured on a per-class foundation, from pricing to mission administration and tailoring. These Bootcamps can have the content material and labs tailor-made particularly to a single buyer, which we don’t present for the Bootcamps for People, a.ok.a. open enrollment. 

The place do you see Cisco Coaching Bootcamps going within the subsequent yr? 

John: I’m very excited in regards to the EN providing in addition to the continued curiosity in ACI, NSO, SDA, and Meraki. I hope demand goes up. I hope our staff grows. We’re having a tangible affect on the trade, and I feel our days as Cisco’s best-kept secret are numbered. 

Joe: We’re releasing a brand new observe known as Cisco DevNet Automation for Enterprise Networks, which can be a mouthful, however it addresses the most important put in base of put in units—particularly, people who run the IOS-XE working system. This has been fairly the enterprise, however it hits a related space of focus that nearly each buyer wants. Past that, we’re at all times updates and enhancements to present content material and labs and increasing into new content material areas. 

Palmer: It’s going to be a busy yr, for positive. I anticipate that the Enterprise Networking Automation Bootcamps shall be very talked-about, and we now have numerous returning clients trying to increase their abilities and practice new groups. We’ll even be reviewing our present Bootcamps to establish alternatives so as to add new content material and showcase new applied sciences and capabilities. Nothing on this trade ever stands nonetheless, and we search for “drive multipliers” to include into the content material so our clients keep aggressive. Additionally, our staff is often accepted to current at occasions similar to Cisco Reside! That’s an exquisite alternative to fulfill former and future college students in individual. 

Inform us extra about this upcoming webinar: What can clients count on in the course of the occasion? 

John: We’ll cowl all six Bootcamps. Clients will get to know us as instructors in the event that they haven’t met us but. They’ll get to know our distinct ‘Edutainer’ types. We shall be masking every Bootcamp for about 5 minutes every to present you a way of the fabric coated. You’ll have an opportunity to ask us any questions alongside the way in which. 

Palmer: We’ll additionally cowl the Enterprise Networking Automation Bootcamp, which is within the remaining levels of testing. We stay up for answering questions that come up. 

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